Building Core Strength

Though the saying goes “summer bodies are made in the winter,” but let’s face it, the motivation to get the body right ands tight doesn’t hit until the sun’s out and the beach is calling. If you’ve been slacking on you summer body goals(you’re not the only one), not to worry we’re here for you. The follow up to our Workout Moves to Tone & Sculpt Your Legs, is getting to the core(ha!) of the matter with Jenn Hogg, Equinox Group Fitness Manager.

Jenn Headshots-12

When we talk about core, we don’t necessarily mean a bulging 6-pack abs but rather a strong center that can help your body in a multitude of ways. As USA Track & Field hammer thrower Amanda Bingson stated in her ESPN: The Body issue, “I don’t have a six-pack. My legs are a little toned, but they aren’t bulging out… but  I’m pretty strong in my core.”  “A strong core is beneficial not only for tight abs but can help correct posture imbalances and its a good place to start because it makes everything else better” said Jenn Hogg “Old school crunches and sit-ups aren’t nearly as effective as multiplaner moves.”
Here are the exercises to begin building or maintaining a strong core.

PLANKS

To tone your core, planks are probaly one of the best moves you can do and its applicable to all levels, whether you are a beginner or advanced, you can increase your level of intensity based on how comfortable you are with it.

Beginner– Basic form plank
plank-600x450-COMP-1712767

Intermediate-Side plank, rotate unto your side supporting yourself on one arm

source: womenshealthmag.com
source: womenshealthmag.com

Advanced:  walk in and out of it and then you can add a counter lateral lift where you lift one arm and a leg.

menshealth.com
menshealth.com

Plank-arm-and-leg-raises
To really take it up a notch you can do the walkout in and out of it with one leg.

Also an exercises in a plank positon and use things such as a paper plate, gliding discs from the gym; pull both knees in, in a tuck position.
An advanced variation is a pike, where you pull your hips up to the ceiling. This is a killer excercise.

source: Hannah Bronfman instagram
source: Hannah Bronfman instagram

Flip that move and ground your knees on the floor and grab the paper plate or magazine underneath your hands and let your arms slide forward this would be a 10.
In addition to a plank working your full frontal line, it will also work your shoulders, triceps back, and glutes(if you engage it for stabilization); a lot of these exercises get a lot of stuff done.
yes it creates a greater power center and it will makes your abs look great but it will also get secondary benefits by working other parts of your body at the same time.

BACKBRIDGE

With this excercise, lie on your back and lift your hips off the ground with both of your feet planted on the floor. What I love about that is you initiate it with a pelvic tilt so it engages your lower abdominals focusing on that area, its a bang for your buck move where you get hamstring and glute engagement, why not get more done at once (since we are all pressedd for time).

A female fitness instructor demonstrates the finishing position of the yoga bridge pose
source: fitstream

PUSHUP

source: Jimmy fallon tumblr
source: Jimmy fallon tumblr

A basic pushup whether on your knees or on your toes is a core exercise because of the way you line up your spine and keep them engaged.

Beginner

Source:
Source:

Intermediate– on your toes

source: oxygenmag
source: oxygenmag

How can you take that up a notch?
Advance: One foot(single leg pushup)

Alternating-Hand-and-Single-Leg-Push-Up
source: fitmw

SUPERMAN(BACK EXTENSIONS)

source: popsugar
source: popsugar

Start by lying on your stomach
Beginner move: cross your hand in front of your chest

Advanced: Raise your arms and legs and flutter them, like you are swimming

OBLIQUE ROTATION

A nice twisting movement such as a lunge position

womenshealthandfitness
womenshealthandfitness

Advanced would be a walking lunge with twist

source: Pinterest
source: Pinterest

Jenn does note, you don’t need too do crunches daily.

*Please always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program*

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